View Full Version : Two People Died Today

Marco Hunt, Ph.D
07-20-2005, 10:52 PM
I just noticed that no one on the board had mentioned the deaths of James Doohan and James Aparo. Just thought I'd post something.

Actor James Doohan, who transported the crew of the "Star Trek" television series through space on the command "Beam me up, Scotty," died at the age of 85, his agent said.

While the closest Doohan came to orbit was playing engineer Montgomery Scott on the earthbound set of the Starship Enterprise, his wife Wendy plans to send the actor's ashes into space, according to his agent.

The couple had long ago agreed his ashes would be launched into the final frontier, space, his agent told AFP.

They are to use Space Services Inc., a Texas-based company that rocketed the remains of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry and 1960s drug guru Timothy Leary into the firmament.

The Canadian-born actor died in his sleep at his home in the Pacific state of Washington after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease and after coming down with pneumonia, his agent and friend of 30 years Steve Stevens said. His wife of 28 years was at his side.

"He loved being Scotty," Stevens said, referring to Doohan's role as the curmudgeonly engineer in the "Star Trek" television series that debuted in 1966 and catapulted him to worldwide fame.

"He loved the whole 'Star Trek' thing. I don't think people knew what a terrific actor he was."

Doohan immortalized the fantasy starship's engineer, a pragmatically blunt bear of a man who repeatedly managed miraculous repairs while crew members dealt with the adversities and adventures of "space, the final frontier."

The television show inspired a series of movies starring the same crew, headed by William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as his first mate, Mr. Spock.

"A long and storied career is over," Shatner said of his friend's death. "I knew Jim when he started out in Canada and I knew him in his last years in America, so we go way back. My condolences go out to his family."

The "Star Trek" TV series and films were worldwide hits and "Star Trek" still has an enduring cult following.

"James loved the idea of being in an airport and people from some obscure country, barely able to speak English, would come over to him and say, 'You're Scotty,'" Stevens said. "I've never known someone so gracious with fans."

Doohan routinely said that "if you didn't want to take time to sign autographs for fans, go sell shoes somewhere" instead of being an actor, Stevens said.

Doohan's success had a career backlash, however. Doohan was so associated with the Scotty role that he got turned down for other acting parts, Stevens said.

Hollywood's Paramount Pictures never "used him for anything else" and wielded its clout to block him from other acting work that involved a Scottish accent or anything else reminiscent of Scotty, Stevens said.

"Here is somebody who never wound up in jail, never wound up an alcoholic, and did everything to keep the genre in a good light, and Paramount never used him for anything else," Stevens said. "That really hurt him."

Doohan performed in more than 2,000 radio and television shows before landing what would become his trademark role in "Star Trek."

If all goes well, the actor's ashes will be aboard a Falcon 1 rocket launching from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base in September, along with those of one-time "Star Trek" writer John Meredyth, Space Services Inc. said.

"The family wants to honor his last wishes for the space burial," company spokeswoman Susan Schonfeld said. "If his family continues to want to do this in fact, he would be on the Explorer's flight."

The company charges between 995 and 5,300 dollars to blast human remains into orbit.

Doohan was born March 3, 1920, in Vancouver, Canada and served as a Canadian soldier in the Allied force that landed in Normandy on D-Day in June 1944.

Doohan was shot six times and lost a finger on Juno Beach, but returned to duty to become a military pilot.

He loved children and was involved in raising money for charity, Stevens said.

"There was a lot more to this man than people realized," said Stevens.

James N. Aparo, an illustrator for DC Comics for more than 30 years who drew Batman, the Green Arrow and other action heroes, has died.

Aparo died Tuesday at home after a short illness, said his daughter, Donna Aparo. He was 72.

Aparo, who grew up in New Britain, brought characters to life in his home studio in Southington, corresponding with DC Comics through the mail. He retired about four years ago, his daughter said.

Besides Batman and the Green Arrow, Aparo also did illustrations for Aquaman, the Brave and the Bold, Phantom Stranger and Spectre.

His big break came in the late 1960s when he was working for Charlton Press and his editor got a job at DC. The editor, Dick Giordano, brought Aparo with him to the comic book maker.

In a 2000 interview with Jim Amash for Comic Book Artist, Aparo said he went to Hartford Art School for a semester, but was mostly self-taught.

"I just drew as a kid and went with it," he said. "I studied and copied comic strips and comic books. I grew up with Superman, Batman, and Captain Marvel. I really liked Captain Marvel Jr. by Mac Raboy. That was beautiful stuff. I liked Alex Raymond, Milton Caniff ... all of those guys."

Aparo is survived by his wife, Julieann, and three children.

Long live Scotty!!


07-20-2005, 10:57 PM
They were posted way earlier yesterday. I think your post may have more info. Sad to see both of them gone. I'm not a Trekkie, but I'll miss Aparo. I grew up with his Batman.

07-21-2005, 04:22 AM
And a quick use of the search functionality finds:

http://www.606studios.com/bendisboard/showthread.php?t=22627&highlight=Aparo (http://www.606studios.com/bendisboard/showthread.php?t=22627&highlight=Aparo)

http://www.606studios.com/bendisboard/showthread.php?t=22662&highlight=Aparo (http://www.606studios.com/bendisboard/showthread.php?t=22662&highlight=Aparo)

http://www.606studios.com/bendisboard/showthread.php?t=22887&highlight=Scotty (http://www.606studios.com/bendisboard/showthread.php?t=22887&highlight=Scotty)